Peek A Boo Quilt

Peek A Boo Quilt
The Peek A Boo Quilt, one of my favorite quilting accomplishments!

Friday, September 30, 2011


I have been busy.  Lots of stuff to do.  Lots of stuff that I've gotten done.

Took Baby Pie to Sesame Street Live.  It was fun to see her enjoying herself.  She stood and bounced up and down and clapped her hands.  My friends daughter kept yelling for Ernie. I had so much fun watching them and their reactions.  Of course I forgot my camera.  My friend brought her good camera and proimised to email me pictures.

I am so behind with laundry.  I have at least 4 maybe 6 loads to get done.  I don't mind doing laundry, I just can't stand putting it away.

Well, thanks to all the busyness, I have promptly gotten myself sick.  The plan for the weekend was to go to Burlington Apple Harvest Festival, however the weather should be in the 40's and rainy.  Between my being sick and thinking that Baby Pie is getting sick, we've trashed the plans.

Anyway, being sick has completely made a couch potato out of me.  I cannot put exertion into anything or I get a horrible fit of coughing that feels like my throat is ripping open and my lungs are going to implode. 

Needless to say, I've spent all day in my comfy nightgown and robe in my big blue chair.  I'm suprised my butt isn't numb.  I've been on Facebook most of the day, and CarePages.  One of my friends is getting a huge promotion in her business, another friend had an adoption finalized today, one friend is just beginning a battle with cancer, she doesn't know what type yet, one friend continues her battle with cancer, and one is having a tough pregnancy and will soon be moving.  All that being said, I spend much of the day praying.  Praying in celebration. Praying for comfort and healing.  Praying for a healthy mom and baby.  Praying for strength.  Praying in thanksgiving.  Praying for all my friends that touched me today.  Praying.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Changing it up!

I have never - ever colored my hair. 

Well, ok, in between freshman and sophomore year in highschool, I got a little overzealous with sun-in, but that's not really coloring your hair.

I've thought about it many times.

As I've gone grayer and grayer (I'm really not all that gray yet) I've toyed with the possibility and set it aside.

I've actually had quite a few people tell me they though my long strands of gray on my temples were highlights...which makes it easier to not go for the color.

It occured to me the other day that I'd like to change something up in my life.  Since I can't not have kids, and I know from experience that it will take lots of time walking and working out to lose the amount of weight that would make me a healthier size, so that's out too, not an overnight fix.  Painting the fingers and toes just doesn't do it for me.

I took a big step today.  I bought a box of hair color.  I now need to do a strand test. 

Gonna try to go to a "light natural auburn". 

I'm nervous.

This should only last for 6-8 weeks.

Part of me wants to do it when Baby Pie goes down for a nap, but I also think that I need to sleep and that may be more important!

We'll see how long it takes to get up the nerve to play kitchen beautician.

I did it, not 15 minutes after writing this post.  It's way darker than I thought it would be and a bit more purply red, but I don't hate it. 

I wonder what hubby's reaction will be to it when he gets home.  I've not told him that I did this. Hmmm.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mommy Guilt

Today was the kick off for the new year of MOPS, Mothers of PreSchoolers, in our area.  I truly enjoy this group and get a lot out of the programs and just the fellowship with other moms.

I saw many moms with "new" babies.  The were so small and sweet.  The mom's looked so completely in love and excited to have their babies, to hold them, cuddle them, change their clothes.  I wonder if I even remotely appeared to feel that way with Baby Pie.  I know I did with Bug. 

Baby Pie will be 11 months old at the end of this week.  I'm looking back on this last year and am feeling guilty.  Pie was unexpected and as I've said before rocked my world.  I love her dearly and would do anything for her, but I remember feeling resentful of her presence in my world.  I don't know that I've spent the amount of time doting on her as I did with Bug.  I've had the time to do it, but she also wasn't very receptive to cuddling, rocking and lullabies.  I know I haven't read to her even a tenth as much as I read to Bug, but again, she's not receptive to sitting on a lap or on her own and hearing more than a page or two.

I knew how to parent Bug.  I am lost trying to parent Pie and I feel horrible about it.  I found myself confessing today to another mom that I want to put her in daycare 1-2 days a week so I can have a break from her and she can have a break from me and be around other kiddos her age.  The disbelieving look I got from the other mom was disconcerting.  I found  I needed to justify, justify, justify what I was THINKING about doing.  It's not like I was thinking about putting her by the side of the road for a few hours a day a couple of days a week for a break.  That would make me a bad mom.

Anyway, I took lunch to hubby and cried a bit when I told him what was bothering me.  My dream would be that he stops at the store on the way home and gets me a cheapo boquet.  However, reality is that he'll come home to Pie waking up and Bug unhappily managing homework and leftovers for dinner and he'll tell me how sucky his day was.  He'll ask about my feelings and pick up and carry Pie around, but all will be brushed aside soon enough as he returns to the blow by blow of his day and plans for studying this evening.  There is nothing wrong with reality.  It's how we communicate.  It's part of how our relationship works.  However, I can dream.  I can dream of boquets on bad days.  I can dream.

I hate mommy guilt.  Babies are different.  Children are different.  Parenting, thus, has to be different and aimed at each individual.

“Be glad, O people of Zion, rejoice in the LORD your God, for he has given you the autumn rains in righteousness. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before.” Joel 2:23 NIV 

Hmm.  This verse was waiting for me on Facebook from Proverbs 31 Ministries when I got home this afternoon.  Rejoice because God has given us rain.  But doesn't rain disrupt things?  Make things muddy?  The clouds cover the sun and the water spits from the heavens.   Warm showers or cold icy downpours both accomplish the same thing - getting you wet.  But isn't it God that send the rains in season?  Doesn't this verse say to rejoice in the rain?  That's hard to do.  That's looking for the silver lining in the dingy gray clouds.

Maybe that's like my rainstorm, the second act of motherhood with Pie.  It's uncomfortable and disrupting. It takes me out of my comfort zone.  This verse reminds me that I need to rejoice in her. That I need to take a step back and look for the silver lining in the chronic diaper rash and the  sleep deprivation.  I need to purposfully enjoy my daughter, and rejoice in her precious life.  Like the dry earth I need to soak up her precious presence in my life and watch what grows from my second act of motherhood.

I love that God is so much greater than all of my problems.  I love that he provides guidance and counsel to me in unexpected ways. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Chronic Diaper Rash

Baby Pie has what I am terming Chronic Diaper Rash.  It started, strangly enough, when the weather cooled off, at the end of August.  Thus, we've been dealing with it for almost a month.  It was almost cleared up and at the amusement park Bug gave her a bottle of apple juice with all the best of intentions, but that started it up again.

I am running out of ideas to try.  I've made the cream Bug's pediatrician recommended for her that always worked, miconizole, foot fungus cream, mycitracin, benadryl cream and zinc oxide diaper rash cream.  What was working until the apple juice incident was California Baby brand Calendula Cream and diaper rash cream.  I've changed diaper brands, quit using commercial wipes.  We use our own homemade wipes for poop and a California Baby cleaning spritz and cloth diaper to dry for wet diapers.  I'm changing them at the first sign of the diaper being dirty.

I have spent so much money on various diaper products, new diapers, creams, baby washes, etc.  The only thing I'm spending less on is the homemade wipes.  They are super cheap and easy to make.  Cut a tube of paper towels in half, take out the cardboard center tube and put in a large container that you'll be able to close.  Mix about 1 bottle of water or 2 cups of boiled water with about 1/2 Tbsp of a gentle baby wash, and 2 Tbsp of an antibacterial/soother like the California Baby Spritz that has witch hazel and tea tree oil (I think) then pour over the 1/2 tube of paper towels and you are in business.  I pull the "wipes" from the center. 

She is miserable.  Some days are worse than others for some reason.  Today is a bad day.  She has tiny open sores that are bleeding.  Let's face it when you are that raw in that sensitive area, nothing you do to clean it is going to feel good, no matter how gentle the products or the touch is.

I wish I knew how to fix this for her.  I'm sure she'd love to have her smooth unblemished, non-painful baby butt back too!

Saturday, September 17, 2011


My first daughter was such an easy baby.  Not all the time, and maybe my 10 year old rose colored glasses are blocking some of the difficulties we had.  I do remember that when she'd get up in the middle of the night, she'd be up for 2-3 hours, but, she'd also sleep for 4-6 hours at a stretch.  Bug would happily sit for hours to listen to me or hubby read books to her. She loved to be rocked and sung to sleep.

My second daughter has been more difficult.  She had severe reflux, a challenge in and of itself that makes you as a parent feel completely inadequate.  I can count on less than two hands the amount of times she's slept for more than 3 hours at a time.  It does not get easier as time goes on.  I feel as though I've completely lost a whole portion of my usable memory to chronic sleep deprivation.  I will give her kudos though.  She's up, fed and/or cuddled and then down usually with in half an hour.  I'm so glad she's not up for hours on end in the middle of the night.  She also has no patience for sitting and listening to a book being read or being sung too and rocked. 

Baby Pie has completely rocked my world.  Or should I say that God, through Baby Pie, has completely rocked my world.  I keep thinking that I should be looking for the lessons in my second act of motherhood.  I think I could look harder and interpret those lessons if I wasn't quite so chroncially sleep deprived.

Two of the lessons that come to me off the top of my head are Patience and Forgiveness. 

I have had to learn to be patient with a baby that has her definate ideas of how things should be, even as a newborn.  I've had to learn to be patient with my husband as he has to find time to take care of himself, even though I really would just like him to come home from work and be my manservant and competely take care of the girls.  I've had to learn to be patient with my 10 year old daughter, Bug, as she is learning to give up only childness and become a big sister.

I have had to learn to forgive and accept forgiveness.  I keep forgiving God for giving Baby Pie to us.  I know that doesn't sound quite right.  I was mad at God for giving us this blessing for a good portion of my pregnancy with her.  I had wanted a second child, when Bug was younger, but by the time she was in first grade and many doctors told us that we weren't going to be able to have any more children, I accepted that we'd have an only child.  I prayed and prayed and prayed for another child.  Eventually I accepted God's lack of a "yes" (another child) as a "no".  I never even considered that it could be a "not yet".    I have learned to forgive my hubby for being himself and doing what needs to be done, even though I don't see it that way right away.  I've learned to forgive Bug for the mean comments about her feelings for Baby Pie that pop out of her mouth.  She may mean them in the moment, but not in her heart of hearts.  I have learned to forgive myself for all the little ways I feel I let my family down.  I have learned to forgive myself for not being the perfect mother and wife.  

So, okay, I said two lessons, but I've added a third.  I got on a roll, so here it is.

I have learned acceptance.  I now accept that I cannot control which direction my life goes, no matter how well I plan it out.  I have accepted help that I never though I would need and didn't know that I wanted.  I have learned to accept that good enough is just that.  I have learned to accept that my way, even though it's my preference, is not the only way things can be done.  I have learned to accept that I won't have regular "me time" for several more years.

Prayers for you my readers, that you may find patience, forgiveness and acceptance in your walk with the Lord.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Trying Something New - The Peek A Boo Quilt

Here is a quilt I finished in June.  I think I began purchasing fabric and cutting it out in April.  This was definately a step out of the box for me.  Not only did I try a new pattern, but I expanded on it and made it my own.  I have another alphabet panel, but I am not sure I'm up for the challenge of this quilt a second time around.

The basis of this quilt was a pattern that I purchased that made only a 12 square quilt. Needless to say, not too long after I purchased the pattern, I found a panel with the alphabet on it, and the creative juices began flowing. I took the basics from the pattern added the panel and together it became a 30 square quilt. I know, I know, the alphabet has only 26 letters, but the panel had four added black and white patterned squares to make all the letters fit into a typical quilt pattern.

Even when it was beginning to come together, it was quite labor intesive and I had a hard time keeping up the motivation to complete it.  My favorite parts of the quilting process are the choosing of fabric, pieceing and the quilting. It's the cutting, and sandwiching that are my least favorite parts.

Here is a swath of all the wild fabrics I used for the prairie points.

Here are completed squares with the prairie points sewn on.

Here is the first row of squares assembled.

A closeup of the first square, closed.

And a closeup of the first couple of squares open. Now you see why it's called a Peek A Boo Quilt.

Finished piecing the top together.

It took  a good portion of a day  to remove the basting stitches from the prairie points.

I chose a border and binding fabric.  It's a bit wild, like the rest of the quilt.

Took the quilt, my choice of border and Baby Girl to the quilt shop and the owner very patiently walked me through matching up the stripes to make the border gorgeous and after I get it sewn on almost all the way, I took it back and she showed me how to miter my corners!

I wasn't sure what my backing fabric was going to be.  I ended up with a bold black and white floral print.  I've decided to use black thread for the quilting both top and bottom.  I think it makes sense since I'm not planning on doing any fancy machine quilting on it.

Here is the finished quilt in my mom's walnut tree. Kind of an artsy pic - at least that's what I was trying for

Here's a close up of the border and binding. The picture is not really great, it's kind of washed out, sorry.   I absolutely love the wild stripes.  Hard to believe that  I didn't have this fabric when I chose all the prairie point fabrics.

Here's a close up of just a bit of the backing.  It definately makes it a "girly" quilt, but really, when it's flat on the ground, you never see it.

Now I just need to get brave and wash it.  I'm not sure how the prairie points will come out or if I'll need to press it.  I guess time will tell.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Finished the Bags

Woo hoo!  I fiinished two bags and mailed them out to my husbands cousin to take to a benefit for his other cousin that has lung cancer.  Wow that was a lot to follow.  Lynn the cousin I sent them to, asked to for me to send a sign up sheet with them, just in case anyone at the benefit would like to order one.  I'm hoping I get a few orders!

Here is the Steelers "On the Go" tote.  I designed, sewed and quilted it.  And a peek of the inside with pockets.

Here's the Pink Ribbon "Big Bag Remix", and a peek inside at the pockets.

I have enough steelers fabric left to make at least 3 more bags, maybe more.  Here's hoping I can sew them up quickly enough and finally get my store on off the ground.

Nanny Diaries, Proverbs 31 and Mommy the second act

I just finished listening to the Nanny Diaries, again.  I feel a bit condemned by the book.  It's fiction, and honestly I think that Mrs. X is a little over the top in her attitude toward everything, and a horrible mother, but really find that what Nanny says at the very end to be profound and pertinent to my life as a mommy.  My girls really are fabulous and interesting little people.  I need enjoy spending time with them and not dread it or avoid it.

I read and reread Proverbs 31, which tells about the good wife.  I strive for that and am thankful for the Lords forgiveness and my husbands and girls patience with me as I never seem to quite "get there".  There are days when I feel like I'm making progress, but when I look back I made that progress at the expese of some other portion of my "duties" as wife and mother.

One of my friends just posted on FB that being a mom is the best job ever.  Wow.  My first thought was I'm so happy for you and I wish I still felt that way.  I remember with my first daughter 10 year ago, motherhood was wonderful, and exciting and incredible.  This time around with my now 10 month old daughter, I'm finding it hard and tedious.  I love my babies, both of them, but I miss that sense of wonderment at all the new things the baby is doing. I truly wish I could find it and bring it back, she deserves that much. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Baby Raising

I discovered today that the Maya Wrap sling works wonderfully as a side baby carrier.  Since the now 20 pound Baby is causing me to get tennis elbow in both arms I am super excited to have remembered that it can be used that way.

Question - How much floor time should I be spending with said Baby Girl?  I have lower back issues, that sitting on the floor exacerbates, but really, is the 20 minutes 3-4 times a day of one on one play I've been doing with her enough?

I also don't think I've been giving her quite enough solids.  It's as much as she will eat at a sitting, but I'm also not following her around with solid food.  Generally about 20 minutes or so after she eats she's ready for a bottle.  Is this normal?  Am I doing something right or wrong or just different?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Favorite Things

One of my favorite things in the world is snuggling my baby girl in a quilt on a chilly autumn evening, feeding her.  Smelling her absolute sweet babyness.  Feeling her relax and drift off to sleep in my arms.

I love watching the rain make the reflection of the street light in the puddle dance and shimmer as I rock her to sleep with softly murmered lullabys and I love you's.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Mommy Time

I have to admit.  Free time is hard to come by as a mom of a 10 year old and a 10 month old.  I jumped at the chance to have a free weekend with my mom.  Earlier this summer it was just too hot to transport our dog from her house in MI back to ours in PA.  Since I knew that my hubby would have a 4 day weekend for Labor Day, I planned to head back to her house alone for the weekend.  I must say, I truly enjoyed the 10 hour trip each way!  I listened to audiobooks and didn't have to stop every few hours for the potty or to change diapers or because someone besides me was hungry or thirsty.

My mom and I had fun together.  We did things that would have caused serious whining and would not have been fun to do pushing a stroller, let alone the in and out of the car seat.  We stopped at almost every garage sale we came across.  We went to two art and craft fairs.  We shopped til the stores closed at an outlet mall because the sales were so very good (50% off or more) on this seasons clothing!  We got to eat out and we ate in.  Lots of tomato and bacon sandwiches with macaroni salad.  We had ice cream cones and ice cream and toppings at home.  Indulgent! 

I must say, I truly enjoyed the not getting up for middle of the night feedings.  I loved not having the drama from my 10 year old.  I gloated over not having to plan meals or change diapers. 

All that being said, my husband is awesome.  He and the girls had a good weekend.  He took them to the waterpark on Saturday.  Something, I admit, that I'm not sure I would be brave enough to do all by myself.  No one got sunburned and according to my 10 year old, everyone had a pretty good time.  I am proud of them all.

I came home and the baby's diaper rash is almost completely gone. The girls have been well fed and are clean. The house looks much the same as it did when I left, plus several loads of laundry got done as did the dishes!

I told my friends that I was leaving him home with the girls, unsupervised, and they were in awe.  I just don't get that.  I fully expect my spouse to be able to care for my children in my absence.  Several of them confided that they didn't think their husbands could step up like that.  I don't think they give the husbands quite enough credit, either that or they know they've married bumbling fools that can't be trusted with their offspring, which amazes me either way. 

I did not take my sewing machine or projects with me.  I knew we'd be out garage saling and walking the craft fairs. Plus, I wanted to spend some evening time with mom playing canasta and talking, and not worrying about little ears hearing or the baby waking up to be fed.  Needless to say, I really need to get sewing this week to get these two bags done and in the mail for the benefit for Cousin Greg.

Husband is leaving for a 2 day TDY trip tomorrow.  He's packing now.  Nothing like passing off the childcare from one parent to the other in a 36 hour time span.

I brought the dog back with me.  She doesn't know quite what to do with herself.  She keeps pacing around the house.  I think she's looking for Gramma.  Not to mention, most of her napping spots have been overtaken with baby toys.  We missed her, but not so much. 

I need to start thinking about Halloween costumes for the girls, and if I need to sew them or just buy them.  I also need to start thinking about Christmas dresses for the girls.  Ugh.  Sew much to do sew little time.... :)